From Hawaii, we are on to Australia. It was a little less than a ten hour flight from Honolulu over to Sydney, a four hour layover, change of planes and an hour and a half flight up to Melbourne. By the time we arrived at the Park Hyatt Melbourne, we were all a little worn out after a 17 hour travel day. We were very grateful that we scheduled our extended layover in Hawaii to split up the trip. As good as travelers as the girls are, the travel days go much better when we can keep our longest travel day to around 17 or 18 hours.
We spent our first five nights in Australia exploring the city of Melbourne, a clean city with a European feel. Each day we utilized free city tram and picked a different destination in the city to explore. While making our way through the city, we shopped in the Victoria Market, tried virtual reality in the ACMI Museum of the Moving Image, played with the penguins through the glass at the Melbourne Aquarium, climbed to the top at a fun rock climbing gym and enjoyed several tasty snacks at the cafe’s all over the city.
Melbourne is an easy city to navigate, we all enjoyed hopping on and off the city tram which was free to ride within the city center. We could walk off our energy each day, and then when the legs started hurting, hop on the tram to take us back close to the hotel.
The Virtual reality in Melbourne was really cool. When you put on the goggles, you could see stuff that was moving, but then when you took off the goggles, you were standing in a black room. When I looked around I was standing in a pond and trees were growing all around me. I watched the sunrise and sunset while the creepy music was singing.
After the museum we had a giant roadside burger at a cafe and found some yummy Melbourne chocolate at a chocolate shop.
My favorite things we did in Melbourne were the Rock Climbing gym and the Virtual Reality. The rock climbing was a little different from the one we have at home. Daddy and I both had to tie in so that he could control the belay. My first couple tries I was a little scared. By the end though, I was climbing to the top.
We liked the city, but daddy had us walking everywhere. We didn’t really want to go to the (Victoria) market, but we were glad we did once we got there.
I really like being ma’s roommate. She lets me do anything I want. We wake up early and she lets me read while she gets ready. Each morning in the hotel, we’d go down for breakfast and hot chocolate while mommy, daddy, and Emily slept. Most of all I like to be with her.
We’ve arranged for most of our family touring in Australia through Southern World. We like exploring new destinations by all methods of travel – cruising, touring, or on our own. The thing we like best about private custom tours is that we can collaborate with and design our experience exactly the way we want, under the expert guidance of a trusted local operator.
With mom in meetings for our time in Melbourne, we don’t have any scheduled tours planned until we arrive in Uluru. Even though we didn’t have anything organized for a few weeks after we arrived, Southern World was kind enough to send an abundance of local touring options we could explore on our own during our first couple of weeks in Australia. The information was all waiting for us when we arrived in Melbourne, especially nice that we didn’t receive it at home and have one more thing to pack.
There are several options for cruising around the perimeter of Australia – Large ship, small ship, expedition. The cruises are a great way to see the sections of the country you may like to return to at a later date. With as long as it takes to get to Australia from the States, we recommend also organizing some pre-or post touring to explore some of the interior of the country as well.
Taking a tour with a small group provides the opportunity to experience the sites of Australia with other like-minded travelers on popular pre-designed itineraries.